The New Guard: Breaking with the Status Quo

In my history of collecting comics, I have been basically a two company man. DC and Marvel. Those two companies really held the stable of characters that I have been emotionally invested in since I can remember. As I grew, my comic tastes really didn’t, until Mirage came about and introduced the Turtles to us all. I think Marvel’s “New Universe” and “Malibu Comics” sort of killed my interest in moving away from my favorite universes. There have been one-offs that I’ve kept up with here and there, like Usagi Yojimbo but I didn’t really open up to entire companies like Dark Horse or Image, even though I did like a pick up a few titles from them sporadically. It goes without saying that I missed out on Milestone comics as well. My main introduction to those characters were shows like Static Shock and Young Justice.

That brings us to now. We suffer from an embarrassment of riches when it comes to content. Animated, sequential, audio, and more… we have it all now. Recently I found two new small creator owned companies, Black Sands Entertainment and YouNeek Studios. These two companies are putting out some quality work in print and as YouTube content.

YouNeek Studios
Malika: Warrior Queen

Malika: Warrior Queen, is a fully computer animated short film. I really enjoy the strong female lead and the choreography of the fight scenes. I would love to see what YouNeek could do with a larger budget. This title is also available in comic book form, which is just as impressive.

Check out some of their other titles.
Black Sands Entertainment
Blacks Sands: The Seven Kingdoms

My first reaction to this was that it made me think of Avatar the Last Airbender, and that’s not a bad thing. The first episode begins with some exposition then you jump right into a friendship between a group of kids who have developed god-killing powers like their parents. I love the premise of this work. At this point it is beautifully rendered, but the animation is akin to the old Marvel Superheroes cartoons from the 1960’s. Once again, that it not a bad thing. There is also print material that can be purchased from the Black Sands website. I look forward to seeing how these characters develop!

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